Development of Phase Locking and Frequency Representation in the Infant Frequency-Following Response Purpose This study investigates the development of phase locking and frequency representation in infants using the frequency-following response to consonant–vowel syllables. Method The frequency-following response was recorded in 56 infants and 15 young adults to 2 speech syllables (/ba/ and /ga/), which were presented in randomized order to ... Research Article
Research Article  |   September 18, 2017
Development of Phase Locking and Frequency Representation in the Infant Frequency-Following Response
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Katlyn B. Van Dyke
    Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Rachel Lieberman
    Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Alessandro Presacco
    Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park
    Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Samira Anderson
    Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park
    Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, University of Maryland, College Park
    Language Science Center, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Samira Anderson: sander22@umd.edu
  • Editor: Frederick (Erick) Gallun
    Editor: Frederick (Erick) Gallun×
  • Associate Editor: Suzanne Purdy
    Associate Editor: Suzanne Purdy×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 18, 2017
Development of Phase Locking and Frequency Representation in the Infant Frequency-Following Response
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 2017, Vol. 60, 2740-2751. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-16-0263
History: Received June 18, 2016 , Revised November 23, 2016 , Accepted April 8, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, September 2017, Vol. 60, 2740-2751. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-16-0263
History: Received June 18, 2016; Revised November 23, 2016; Accepted April 8, 2017

Purpose This study investigates the development of phase locking and frequency representation in infants using the frequency-following response to consonant–vowel syllables.

Method The frequency-following response was recorded in 56 infants and 15 young adults to 2 speech syllables (/ba/ and /ga/), which were presented in randomized order to the right ear. Signal-to-noise ratio and Fsp analyses were used to verify that individual responses were present above the noise floor. Thirty-six and 39 infants met these criteria for the /ba/ or /ga/ syllables, respectively, and 31 infants met the criteria for both syllables. Data were analyzed to obtain measures of phase-locking strength and spectral magnitudes.

Results Phase-locking strength to the fine structure in the consonant–vowel transition was higher in young adults than in infants, but phase locking was equivalent at the fundamental frequency between infants and adults. However, frequency representation of the fundamental frequency was higher in older infants than in either the younger infants or adults.

Conclusion Although spectral amplitudes changed during the first year of life, no changes were found with respect to phase locking to the stimulus envelope. These findings demonstrate the feasibility of obtaining these measures of phase locking and fundamental pitch strength in infants as young as 2 months of age.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by the University of Maryland–College Park Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences and the National Institutes of Health Grant T32DC-00046 (awarded to Alessandro Presacco). The authors wish to thank the infants and parents who graciously participated in our testing. The authors also thank Maeve Salanger, Rachael Stein, Meg Graves, Eve Kronzek, Jen Chisholm, Courtney Wallace, and Tarah Chibber for their assistance with data collection and Evan Smith and Arielle Abrams for their assistance with data analysis.
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